A star is back
After guiding the Lady Wave basketball team to two state berths in her 12-year career, Chelle Dalager is back on the court.
This time, though, Dalager is now the boys basketball coach after accepting the position over the summer. She brings an impressive resume to the floor as she takes over a program that hasn’t won the state tournament since the 1970s. Along with the two state berths in 2003 and 2011, her Fallon teams were a regular contender in the 4A before it switched to the 3A in 2010.
It’s the first head coaching gig at the high school level since she announced her retirement after the 2011 season. After spending a year away from the gym, Dalager couldn’t stay away any longer. She coached both the seventh and eighth grade basketball teams before assisting with the junior varsity boys program last year.
“What made me decide to do it was the age group now at high school are all kids coached in tournament ball, AAU ball and city league,” Dalager said. “I’ve coached a lot of these incoming kids. I really felt like if they made a change in the coaching staff and because I know these kids so well, it was going to be an easier transition. A lot of these kids played for me for a lot of years.”
While Dalager spent her first high school coaching stint with the girls program, she’s prepared to lead the boys this season after coaching teams at the middle school and during the tournament season. One of Dalager’s first accomplishments since becoming the boys coach was taking the team to a camp at Gonzaga, one of the best college programs in the country.
“The boys respect me and listen to me really well,” Dalager said. “I think it’s probably because I’ve built a strong relationship with then over the last five years. I’ve been around these kids for so long that most of them were excited when I got the head job. I’m ecstatic. I can’t wait. We have some kids coming back who didn’t play last year. I think it will make us stronger.”
One the biggest differences coaching now compared to last decade with the girls is having a family and support system. Dalager’s two sons play sports and her oldest will be a senior on the team. The community also has a special place in Dalager’s life.
“There’s nothing better and I realized how much I missed it,” Dalager said of her return. “The year off, I didn’t like it because I didn’t know what to do with my extra time. Now, I know what to do with my extra time with basketball. I forget how awesome this community is with supporting our team. It just brings back all the times when I was in charge of the girls program. It’s a pretty amazing place to live.”